Students start birthday cake delivery business
by Christina Spencer
Celebrating birthdays is something college students might miss from home — the times spent huddled around the dining room table, candles flaring out of a birthday cake, and loved ones singing. One Whitworth student brought to life a business idea that brings at least a part of that to campus.
The Whitworth Cake Company, founded by junior Aaron Vaccaro, was created so parents or students could order a birthday cake or even cupcakes for a loved one and have it delivered straight to their dorm room. The service is available any day of the week for $30.
“It was my mom’s idea actually. She gave me the idea to start it — just basically baking birthday cakes for students on the side,” Vaccaro said. “I made a website and began baking all the time on my own.”
Vaccaro said he is driven by the high value he places on customer service. After delivering the cake to the student, Vaccaro takes a picture of the student with their cake and sends the picture to the parents as a ‘receipt.’
The cake types include yellow, funfetti, chocolate and red velvet. Decorations are all hand-designed and customized.
“I decorate everything totally personally,” Vaccaro said. “Every option is totally whatever the parent wants, from the frosting, the icing, the actual cake underneath. I handwrite a card with a message from the parents and include plates and forks and everything.”
Growing up in a supportive and successful family, he said he holds himself to high standards. Vaccaro’s father is a financial advisor and his mother is an award winning baker. Vaccaro has inherited a passion for business. At the age of seven he created his own neighborhood cleaning service, and he is currently designing his own iPhone application.
Although one may guess that Vaccaro is a business major, he isn’t. He is studying computer science and mathematical economics. However, he is a member of the Whitworth Business Club as well as one of the founders of the Whitworth Student Investment Group.
“What I love about business is that you can come up with totally original ideas and do whatever you want with them, and potentially turn them into something that helps people and creates jobs,” Vaccaro said. “ Business is what drives innovation.”
At first, he said it was difficult to get the word out about Whitworth Cake Company because Whitworth would not let him advertise on campus via posters or in newsletters. Recently, though, Whitworth has decided to allow ads for the company to be posted in dorm newsletters. The biggest aim, however, is to reach the parents and gain their awareness. He has handed out fliers to parents on campus, but is currently working with Whitworth to get information put on the parents newsletter and a link put on the parents website. Vaccaro has high expectations for the company’s future.
“Now that the school is working with me to help advertise, I’m expecting business to explode,” Vaccaro said.
As the company grows, Vaccaro is interested in partnering with a local bakery in making the cakes. But the company will remain student-run. Right now, Vaccaro has one partner, junior Matthew Ruddock, who is co-owner of Whitworth Cake Company. He helps with decorating and deliveries. With time, though, there will be more students hired to help in this process.
Freshman Hannah Beachwood received a cake in December and said that it was surprising and she did not expect it at all.
“They brought it to my room and said, ‘This is from your parents, Happy Birthday!’ It was really cool,” she said.